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20121129
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graham and ayotte say they're going to put a hold on ambassador rice if, in fact, she's nominated to be the secretary of state, they're going to put a hold on her, even though there's no direct responsibility, direct knowledge, and no accusation of direct knowledge by her on any of these matters, and she's saying what, in effect, she was told to say by the intelligence community. yet we're told that democrats are ready to fight. a democratic aide tells nbc news, this is getting people's back up. the general sense of mood is this is ridiculous. she's obviously qualified. no one on our side thinks there's any substance whatsoever to the republican criticisms. the aide also questioned whether republicans, besides mccain, graham and ayotte would think this was a smart fight to pick. after all, it would be a high-profile fight with a qualified african-american woman. >> and she's not just qualified. she is supremely well qualified. she has tremendous experience. she's been enormously successful with her work at the u.n. we were able to marshal some of the most significant sanctions on
cain and lindsay graham and kelly ayotte could hardly have gone worse. they were more inflamed about rice's early public comments about the benghazi, libya attack than they had been before that meeting. cnn's dana bash has been watching all of this prenomination confrontation drama and joins us now to talk about this. i know you're trying to wrangle an interview and make sure you catch the senators as they emerge from the meetings. dana, it might sound to some as though some of the critics of ambassador rice feel differently about what they're criticizing. they don't all seem to be in lock step or at least have the same complaints. >> reporter: that's true. no question that there are different levels of issues that senators are upset about. i have to tell you the reason i'm on the phone now is because i'm waiting for a very important meeting that susan rice is having as we speak to wrap up and that is with senator susan collins. why is it important? because if she is nominated to be secretary of state and assuming that the republicans she met with yesterday stand by their desire to block her nomi
of her as a spokesman for the administration. one suspects that senators graham and mccain and ayotte have other reasons for opposing her and are using this as an excuse but it's fairly flimsy because while there are legitimate questions to be asked about what happened in benghazi -- >> but dana, hang on a second. if you have a problem with susan rice, let her be nominated, challenge her, and go through due process. why do this on the basis of intelligence that she had received that's consistent with the information that she was given by the cia? >> not only is it illogical, it is counterproductive because they're putting the president in a position of saying he's going to nominate her if he wasn't before because now he's not going to look like he's caving in or backing down. so they're going to achieve the exact opposite of what they're purporting to want. >> absolutely astonishing. goldie, conservatives, as we know, are attacking ambassador rice for admitting that the initial intelligence was wrong in one respect, that there was no process in benghazi, but she's admitted that the in
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